The Battle for Iraq (Dispatch 6)
Members of Iraq's Yazidi sect follow an ancient religion, which incorporates elements of Islam and indigenous beliefs. After the Islamic State overran parts of northern Iraq, tens of thousands of Yazidis were forced into the Sinjar mountain range, where Islamic State militants — who consider the Yazidi devil worshippers — surrounded them.
President Barack Obama claimed on August 14 that the US military intervention in Iraq broke the siege of the trapped Yazidi civilians in the Sinjar mountains. But the Yazidis themselves disagree. Instead, they are adamant that they owe their rescue from the surrounding Islamic State militants to the Syrian Kurdish fighters of the People's Protection Units (YPG). The YPG has been fighting the Islamic State longer and harder than any other group in Syria, and pushed a narrow escape route deep through Islamic State territory to rescue the Yazidis.
VICE News travelled with YPG fighters and a Yazidi guide through the desert corridor to ascertain the true story of the Yazidis' last minute escape from the Islamic State.